Watch Your Beatitude!
Who are you getting smart with?! Roll your eyes at me again! Straighten up your face before I give you something to cry about! Ahhh, the sounds of parents dealing with their bad-attitude kids (it’s like music to my ears. Haha jkjkjk). We’ve all had a temper tantrum or two (or 900) during our lives-we didn’t get something that we really wanted, couldn’t go somewhere we really wanted to go, or we were asked to do something we really didn’t want to do (clean up this kitchen NOW!!!! Haha). When we feel like we can’t do what we want to do, when we want to do it, we tend to get an attitude. We somehow think that we’re entitled to say, do, and think whatever we want to, just because we’re breathing (it’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to…). Just as our parents or guardians have to put us in check when we get out of line (now lookie here!), God has to do the same thing.
When we sin-say, do, or think bad things that we shouldn’t or don’t do good things that we should do-it’s like we have an attitude with God. I don’t want to forgive Cindy for stealing my Flamin’ Hots during that one pizza party in 4th grade! I don’t want to say I’m sorry for accidentally flushing Mommy’s phone down the toilet and flooding the entire bathroom (put your snorkel away! This isn’t swimming water! Haha). God loves us more than we’ll ever know (he sent his darling son, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross for our sins), but he also wants us to live a life that is pleasing to him. How do we live a life that pleases God? Thank you for asking! Jesus Christ himself answers this question for us in his Sermon on the Mount. Let’s take a closer look at this Sermon on the Mount, shall we?
In the 5th Chapter of Matthew, Jesus sees a large group of people out and about in Israel; this is the perfect opportunity to teach them about how God’s children are to live (Shhh!!! Class is in session!). Given how many people were present (thousands!), Jesus decides to deliver his message from atop a mountain; he wanted to make sure that everyone could hear him (Can you hear me now? Good!). Jesus begins his sermon by listing the groups of people that his father, God Almighty, will bless. This list is known as the “Beatitudes.” Let’s take a closer look at these now.
Beatitudes-Matthew 5: 3-10 (KJV)
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. In other words, we should be humble (ain’t nobody dope as me, I’m just so fresh, so clean (so fresh and so clean, clean)-STOP IT! Haha). None of us are perfect, and we should be willing to admit that we’re flawed (jacked up from the back up!), repent of our sins (ask God to forgive us of our sins and help us to stop sinning), and allow God to change us from the inside out.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. When we lose someone that we love dearly (family members, friends, or someone else), we’re sad. God does not want us to be sad, and will always be there to wipe away our tears, give us a big hug (come here, big guy!), let us know how much he loves us (I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family…did I seriously just quote Barney? Haha), and help us to smile again (let me see those pearly whites! SAY CHEESE!).
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. In other words, God blesses those who have self-control (get it together! Haha) and are willing to be led by him. We all want to do certain things (boy, you are not about to be a wild animal trainer at the zoo! Harambe is not your friend! Haha), but God wants us to happily follow him and walk in HIS will for our lives-you may want to be a doctor, but God may want you to be a lawyer. When we’re willing to be led by God (I know that this isn’t always easy to do-prayer is key), he will greatly bless us.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. When a person is passionate about living the right way (hates sin and loves saying, doing, and thinking the right things) and wants to see justice served (we want to make things right when we or those around us have been hurt or mistreated), God will bless us. If someone accidentally hits you in the face with a water balloon (you made me drop my Slushie!!!), don’t tie their shoestrings together and try to make them fall, face first, into Grandpa’s spinach dip (mmm, spinach dip. Don’t judge me! Haha).
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. When we don’t give other people the punishments that they deserve (such as yelling at them for stealing our bikes or backhanding them for driving our cars without permission…and crashing them into a light pole!), but decide to love and forgive them anyway, God will show this same mercy toward us. We all fall into sin at times (whether we mean to or not), and by all accounts, we deserve God’s punishment. However, God loves us so much that he’s willing to give us chance after chance to get our heads out of our behinds (stop smelling yourself and thinking that your “you know what” doesn’t stink. Haha), do better, and come to him (thank you, Jesus!).
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Don’t be a selfish Sourpatch Kid (those are THE BOMB.COM! So good! Haha). We shouldn’t just think about ourselves; we are to always love, care for, and try to help one another. We can help one another in a variety of ways-giving someone food, water, or money when he or she needs it (if we have it to give), listening to someone who just needs a friend to talk to, saying a kind word to someone who has had a bad day, and the list goes on and on and on. We shouldn’t only care about our own needs; don’t be a trifling Trudy or a petty Pete (what’s good, boy?!). Being kind goes a long way in God’s eyes.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. We should always try to resolve conflicts in the most peaceful ways possible-with as little yelling, screaming, hate, violence, and chaos as possible (move around, Jerry Springer!). Think of us as mediators-we try to talk things out, understand one another’s points of view, and resolve issues without losing our flipping minds. Haha Modern culture loves to glorify fights and violence, but God isn’t impressed (try again, Junior!); he wants us to focus on peacefully solving our problems and acting like we have some home training (have your parents taught you NOTHING?! Haha). Love, peace, and hair grease (Lord knows my scalp needs it. Haha).
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. When we stand up for Jesus Christ and truth, we may not be liked very much. The world wants to live in sin, do whatever it wants, and not feel bad about what it’s doing-God calls us to be different. We are to stand up for Jesus Christ, stand up for living the right way (not sinning), and share our views with others in a kind and respectful way (because we aren’t better than anyone. Haha). As such, people may not like us, may make fun of us, may say and do nasty things to us, and may try to make us look bad. If we keep our eyes on Jesus, however, and continue to stand up for him, we will be blessed in this life, and in Heaven (Happy meals and McFlurries for everyone!).
There is so much more that I could say about Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount (and believe me, we WILL get there!), but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on the eight Beatitudes. Modern-day remixes are a-brewing! Snuggle up on the couch, turn on some smooth jazz, and let’s do this thing! NOTE: I will be utilizing modern day language, technology, and ways of living in this story, as we’re picturing this happening today.
Watch Your Beatitude!
Biblical Reference: Matthew 5:1-10 (KJV)
*Detroit: Chase and Skylar (childhood friends) are on their way to Dave-N’-Buster’s (hot wings and Donkey Kong, baby!), when they suddenly get stopped by a large group of people (we’re talking thousands of people!) in the middle of the street. The Pistons and Lions haven’t won anything lately (no offense, Detroit! The Bulls and Bears aren’t any better. Haha), so why is there such a large crowd? Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is walking down the street with his disciples (performing miracles and teaching the people about the Kingdom of God-he’s taking care of Daddy’s business!), when he sees this large crowd. This is the perfect opportunity for Jesus to teach the people how to live for God; Jesus always ceases golden opportunities, so he’s NOT going to allow this moment to pass him by. Given that there are so many people here, Jesus climbs to the top of Bradshaw Hill-he wants to make sure that everyone can hear him. His twelve disciples are nearby. Class is in session!*
JESUS CHRIST: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you all for gathering here today. This is Godly Living 101, and I am your teacher, Jesus the Christ. My Father (God Almighty himself) has sent me to teach you all about his Word, his truth, and his Heavenly Kingdom (pay attention, Billy! Haha). Heathens will be schooled today (okay, maybe Jesus wouldn’t quite say that. Haha)! We first need to learn how to live for God-I’ve affectionately coined these principles the eight “Beatitudes” (be quiet, listen up, and don’t get an attitude while I’m talking! Haha jkjkjk).
Chase: Where’s my phone?! I need to record this. Posting this video to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat (can you post videos to Snapchat? Haha), Tik Tok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and my inactive Myspace and Bebo accounts will make me a social media LEGEND! Let’s get it (Lord, please forgive this goof loop. Haha)!
Skylar: I hear you, Chase! My phone is cocked and loaded-let’s shoot some Beatitude bullets in this peace (some divine dynamite! KABOOOOMMMMM!)!
JESUS CHRIST: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. In other words, my friends, be humble.
Chase: Thank you! Someone needs to tell Tyler that! He keeps running his mouth (bumping his gums HARD) about how he’s the greatest bowler who ever lived. The only reason he bowled a perfect 300 is because they put him in the kiddie lane, only moved the pins 5 ft away from him, and gave him that weak, jelly bean, gum drop excuse for a bowling ball. Be humble, Tyler!
Skylar: Thank you! I feel the same way about Sheila. She’s one of the most arrogant people I’ve ever met in my life. Just because your Daddy owns his own ice cream business and can afford to put you in designer clothes everyday, doesn’t make you better than anyone else! Stop thinking you’re all that and a bag of chips, when you’re only 1/12th of that and a half eaten Cheeto (and not even the good Cheetos). Be humble, Sheila!
JESUS CHRIST: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Chase: Praise the Lord for that. Losing my grandfather almost broke me, but I know that he’s no longer suffering and is in a better place. We used to watch sports together, he taught me how to fix cars; he even showed me how to shave like a MAN (boy, you don’t need to shave that little peach fuzz; no one even notices that one little hair on your chin. Haha).
Skylar: I lost my sister two years ago, and I think about her everyday. We used to do everything together-go shopping, paint our nails, wait until our parents went to sleep to sneak food from the refrigerator (those chilly cheese fries were good! Those nightmares after eating them weren’t, though. Haha). Good times. Good times. Haha I’ll always love and miss her, but I know that she’s in a better place, and thank God that he’ll be with us every step of the way.
Chase: Amen to that.
JESUS CHRIST: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. This beatitude can be summed up in two phrases, my friends-self-control and submitting to my Father’s will.
Skylar: Please help me, Lord. You know that I try so hard to get along with my little brother, but if he shrinks my clothes in the dryer one more time-
Chase: Woosah! Woosah! Peaceful meadows. Peaceful meadows. Breathe, my friend. We must learn to control our emotions-believe me, my little brother always tries to shrink my athletic cup in the dryer-I’ll just leave that one alone. Haha
Skylar (laughing): HAHAHAHA! I’m sorry, my friend. You know that I love you, but that was hilarious! He should be ashamed of himself! Haha You’re right, though. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. We must control our emotions. Whatever God wants for me in this life, I pray that I’ll be ready, willing, able, and happy to do it. God loves us and knows best.
Chase: Yes, my friend. Lord, I pray that you will help me to practice self-control during this life, as people will certainly try it and attempt to push my “get slapped” button. I don’t want to do it, Lord. Please keep me in your perfect peace, and help me to be ready, willing, able, and happy to do your will. In Jesus’s name I pray, give thanks, and ask it all, Amen.
JESUS CHRIST: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Chase: Sin can kiss my perky and well-toned gluts! I’m standing up for truth, living a holy life, and showing that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior! I hate sin, want to punch it in the face, and kick it where the sun doesn’t shine (it’ll definitely be singing a few octaves higher. Haha). OUCH, it hurts! You’re darn skippy it hurts!
Skylar: That’s right! I hate sin, want to live a life that pleases Jesus and God Almighty, and spread the good news of his truth. I can be cute and Christ-like at the same time! All of my godly queens in the house, stand up! Oh wait, we’re already standing up. Nevermind the standing up part, but still represent for holy living! Haha
JESUS CHRIST: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Skylar: That’s deep. I know that I’m a sinner and need forgiveness, and I’ll never be able to thank God enough for not giving me the punishment that I deserve. I’m certainly trying to show myself and others that same mercy. Denise stole $20 from me the other day, but instead of getting into a fight and snatching that hair (it’s unbeWEAVEable!), I prayed for her and let it go. She ended up apologizing for the entire thing and offering me my money back (I told her to keep it). God is good!
Chase: That’s my girl! We’re all sinners in need of God’s mercy, and we must show that same mercy to others if we expect God to do the same for us. I let my cousin, Devonte, borrow my Xbox, and he broke it two days later. I had worked all summer and saved up to buy it (that thing wasn’t cheap!), just for him to feel froggy and snap the box in half. I could have body-slammed him three ways into next week, but I prayed, asked God to take my anger away, and asked him to help me deal with the situation in a holy way. Devonte apologized for breaking my box and surprised me with a brand new one (a LOT more expensive than the one I had bought! Thatta’ boy! Haha)! God is great!
JESUS CHRIST: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Don’t be selfish, everyone.
Chase: I love to help people. Whenever my older brothers come home from college, I always try to take them out to dinner at least one time-let’s just say that I’m contributing to the Negro College Fund. Haha I love to volunteer at the homeless shelters and food banks, and I will gladly help a sweet older lady (or gentleman) to cross the street.
Skylar: I’m the same way. If I see that someone is hungry, hurt, or doesn’t have any money, I try to help them (give them money, food, water, or a friend to talk to). All of us need help, and we should always think of others before ourselves. Jesus isn’t telling us not to care about ourselves, but to think about how we can help others. I love it.
Chase: I do too!
JESUS CHRIST: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Skylar: That one’s pretty self-explanatory. Don’t be ratchet and try to get into fights with everyone (that’s not cute. Haha). Let’s love one another, talk things out, and try to solve our problems in the most peaceful ways possible (without yelling, screaming, hate, or violence).
Chase: I love it! No disturbing the peace, BOY! Haha Love, peace, and pants with a crease! That is money! I should put that on a T-shirt. Haha
JESUS CHRIST: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Chase: People may make fun of us for following Jesus Christ and wanting to live a sin-free (as much as possible) life; let them (pray for the jamokes. Haha)! Jesus has our backs, and we’ll be partying in Heaven when it’s all said and done! Just raise your hands in the air, and praise him like you just don’t care!
Skylar: Ain’t no party like a Holy Ghost party, ‘cause a Holy Ghost party don’t stop! Everybody scream!!!!!
Chase & Skylar: When we say Jesus, y’all say Christ! JESUS!
Chase & Skylar: JESUS!
Chase & Skylar: Let’s live for God and show these hockey pucks how it’s done!
EVERYONE: Let’s do it!